Demand for rental property rose at its fastest rate since the early part of the year, according to the latest RICS residential lettings survey.
RICS also cliams that renewed concerns were raised over a lack of agent regulation putting tenants at risk.
Interest from would-be renters rose to a net balance of 15% during the three months to October (from +5 percent). This represents the strongest reading since January and suggests, RICS says, that the booming rental market is showing no signs of slowing down.
This comes at a time when fears have been raised over the lack of agent regulation in the lettings sector. Almost 90% of tenants who responded to a separate RICS survey called for compulsory regulation for lettings agents on order to protect consumers.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of landlords placed their properties on the market during the last quarter. A net balance of 14% more chartered surveyors reported rises in new instructions, an increase on the previous quarter’s reading of -3%.
At the same time, 12% more respondents reported rises rather than falls in rental values. Rents have now consistently been on the rise since the beginning of 2010.
Across Great Britain, most areas saw the cost of renting rise with values in the north of England and London raising at the fastest pace.
Surveyors across Great Britain predict further rises in the cost of renting as a net balance of 16% more respondents expecting values to increase over the coming months.
“The lettings market continued to flourish last quarter with more and more people looking to rent and an increasing number of properties being put onto the market,” said Peter Bolton King, RICS’ global residential director.
“With issues such as a lack of affordable mortgage finance preventing many from buying a home, this trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
“Importantly, as a growing number of people are now entering the rental market, it is extremely worrying that no compulsory regulation is in place to protect them. At present, practically anybody can set up as a lettings agent and this means that tenants can potentially be at risk of poor service and even malpractice.
“We’d recommend that anybody looking to rent a home uses a regulated member of a professional body in order to protect themselves.”